Flexibility is one of my favorite topics to talk about. I push myself constantly to be flexible not only physically but also in every other area of my life. In my previous research life, I studied how behavioral inflexibility is correlated to many psychological disorders. Behavioral inflexibility means your brain, and behavior gets stuck on something you’ve already learned and cannot learn something new that negates this previous thing. Animals and humans that can adapt to new life situations, those that can be flexible, are healthier and better able to survive in the world.
According to Chinese Medicine theory, stagnation leads to unhealthy, unbalanced bodies. Stagnation is one of the primary things we work with in this medicine, and acupuncture or other techniques remove physical and energetic stagnations in the body so that the body can move freely. Stagnation leads from chronic inflexibilities. That is, when we do the same thing over and over, such as in an overuse injury. This can happen physically but also mentally and emotionally. Any time we are inflexible over and over, it has the danger of leading to stagnations.
I have a practice of keeping myself in check weekly for flexibility. I make sure I’m stretching and doing qigong, which keeps the meridians open and flowing, but I also make sure I’m stretching myself in other areas of my life. If I feel like something is turning stagnant, I remind myself to do something fresh. Pick up a new hobby, push myself outside of my comfort zone, take a new route or make a new routine.
As adults, one of the ways it has been shown that we can grow new neurons as well as make new neuronal connections is by walking in a new place. Traveling is great, but even walking in a new neighborhood will do the trick.
I challenge you, for your health and wellness, what is a way you can be more flexible starting tomorrow?
Contact me if you need some inspiration 🙂